By: Matthieu Mariolle
Illustrated by: Minikim
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publcation Date: November 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2010
Everything was business as usual in the small harbor town of Alta Donna. For Nola’s mums, Helena, it was work, work, work and she had little time for her daughter. People often said, “You daydream too much, Nola. You imagine too many things . . . you’ll see that will change when you grow up.” Sure, but in the meantime Alta Donna, a town that never saw as much as a single flake of snow, was covered with it. Surprise, just who was dreaming now? All of a sudden Nola found herself the victim of a kidnaping. She soon learned that Naoki, the culprit, was also the one who was responsible for coating the town with snow.
If Nola York-Stein was able to talk to all those people who doubted her, she’d say, “It’s a little known fact . . . but ferrets run the world . . . they manage our entire lives!” They knew everything about Alta Donna, but they needed Nola to tell them where Inés and Damiano were. They were friends of hers and were “storybook characters who [had] left their world.” Inés had been a flower and Damiano had been a cat, but now they were posing as a brother and sister team. The ferrets didn’t “have the right to contact them” and needed Nola to bring them to them. Why on Earth (or Alta Donna) did they need them if they already ran the world?
Nola was really worried about the fate of Alta Donna, but she didn’t feel safe enough to talk about it with her best friend, Pumpkin. She was finding out all kinds of things, including the fact that KYKO was the weird creature who had once turned itself into her father’s likeness and tried to throw her off a balcony. Right now she had more important things to worry about than the past. She had suddenly discovered a mysterious underground cavern, the “antechamber between the world of humans” and the Land of Stories where Inés and Damiano had come from. When they left it disrupted the equilibrium of both worlds. Would Nola be able to figure out how to save both her friends without losing them to the Ferrets? Was Alta Donna doomed?
This is the finale to a very interesting series starring Nola, an inimitable daydreamer from the imaginary town of Alta Donna. Of course Nola is such a professional daydreamer we’ll never know for sure if Alta Donna really exists, including the characters who live there. In order to gain a real understanding of Nola, Inés, Damiano and the ferrets, I think one needs to read the entire series. Had I read this one alone, I wouldn’t have been as excited about the story because the recap of Nola’s “history” is somewhat brief. Nola, the wannabe PI, seemed to grow on me the more dramatic she got and believe you me, she was some dramatic character. The artwork is, to simply put it, WOW! Nola is quirky plus, still a daydream believer, and quite memorable.
Quill says: Once you’ve met Nola you’ll be hooked and it won’t be long after you’ve read Changing Moon that you’ll be asking for the other two in the series!